The road to Custom rods
Rod building is not a rocket science, and it's fun. It is popular in north region for winter hobby, but I recommend it to southern anglers also. One advantage of rod building is that you may choose better components to your rods. For example, G Loomins IMX factory rods come with Fuji Alconite guides, not SIC. The blanks of IMX is light enough to be matched with Fuji Titanium frame SIC guides, and I will definitely put Ti SIC. Adding to the weight, SIC is must for braided lines. Fuji has several shapes of grips and choosing the best fitting components to your hand is also the advantage. Factory rods often come with the cheapest components. Another very important point is the balancing of rods. US factory rods mostly don't have any rod end balancers, and we may improve the balance by putting some weight. In Japanese market, rod weight and balance has been hot issue for long time, and nice balancer components are available.
Another advantage is that now you may build one of kind rod relatively easily, at low cost. Fuji, and other rod components sellers now list tons of great looking metal components, grip kits, pre-shaped corks, and etc. Now you may build what it was only possible through custom rod builders. Those components are a little bit expensive, but are worth the money you pay. I deal with some great components and please check them out.
Here I introduce custom rods I built
6'6" L power Exfast action. Guides are all Fuji Titanium Frame Sic, and Gold Cermet tip top. Wrapping of top guide is gold, and next 6 guides are silver for better visibility. (I mostly sense signals by looking at lines and tips, instead of feeling by palm) The last guide is wrapped with black and silver. 15mm dia graphite tube is inserted into the grip to assure large cavity inside grip and let signals echo. Rod end balancer is 3/8oz for perfect matching with my 8oz spin reel. Two gold winding checks are at the connection of cork and graphite tube, and blank and the tube. Reel seat is simple Fuji ISP, and wood grain painted reel seat is also available.
The other one is for Dorado, and light tuna fishing with spinning reels. 6'6" blank was extended to 6'10" rod by the grip graphite tube. I used quite a few blue metal components to the grip. Tip top is non-tangle T-MNSG. To make the rod as light as possible, other guides are match set T-YSG and T-LSG. The M powered rod fights great with 10kg Dorados off shore, but weighs only at 115g, 4.1oz.
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